By Lisa Channing, Marketing Manager
As countries emerged from the first lockdown, it became apparent very quickly that we were witnessing an increase in the level of demand that we hadn’t seen before. By the middle of 2020, we know now that we were at the beginning of what has turned out to be the most active trading period we have seen in 25 years. Statistics at the end of 2020 show that our enquiry levels for the year were up 67% on 2019 numbers. By the end of June this year our website enquiries were more than double compared to the same period last year and total active property search leads are up 75% from 1st January to 30th June 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
We have grown our team to over 23 not only to maintain the level of service we provide but to introduce more languages into the sales force. French and Spanish enquiries are up 20% as these nationalities are relocating to Portugal and are in search of top properties. In our offices, there are regularly at least 4 languages being spoken all at once! This year we have reinforced our team with 4 new additions to our sales-team and 3 new recruits to our marketing department. We continue to look for the best staff and are looking to hire a further 3 to 4 people. If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining our dynamic team please email us your cv to email@example.com.
2019 was an incredible year at the top end of the property market in the Algarve and 2020 was our second consecutive most successful year to date. In 2021, year to date, our sales figures are more than double compared to the same period last year, we have achieved just over €81million in sales for our clients. Testament to our magnificent homes and the trust our clients have in us and the tenacity and dedication of a truly unique team with the backing of a global partner in SAVILLS. Valuations at the top end of the market continue their ascent. It is clear that as a result of our effective and targeted marketing initiatives, enquiries are at the highest levels witnessed in 25 years. Budgets are bigger too, as people look for exceptional properties in which they plan to spend more time.
There is evidence to indicate that many of our buyers have the flexibility to work remotely. Since the onset of the pandemic, this work-life feature has become more normalised for many and is demonstrated by our increasing property transactions during lock-downs and despite changes to travel criterion.
We are proud to be an associate in the SAVILLS network. This global reach is a truly unique part of our offering and a benefit which all our clients enjoy. Our unrivalled insight backed by detailed research and expert local knowledge provides our clients with a truly bespoke and exclusive service.
The appeal of Portugal as the location for a new home goes further than the 300 days of annual sunshine and its renowned sandy beaches. There is excellent and sympathetically designed infrastructure, whilst the original Portuguese charm has remained. High speed internet is the norm. We have a superb choice of wonderful restaurants offering worldwide cuisine. The nature reserves in the Algarve provide a clean and sustainable environment to live in. The excellent transport links to the rest of the world make the Algarve highly accessible and represent another important attraction. There is a selection of international schools offering relocating families a choice of excellent education and facilities. The Portuguese are welcoming and proud of their country and visitors and new residents are warmly received.
The Portugal Golden Visa programme has proven to be the most popular scheme in Europe with investors attracted to its flexibility and benefits. The investor programme was launched in 2012 and has been actively promoted internationally. At the end of June 2021 the total investment generated by the Golden Visa Programme reached €5.87 billion, of which €5.31 billion went directly into the Portuguese real estate market.* The Non Habitual Resident scheme (NHR) is also continuing in popularity. We estimate that up to 50% of our buyers take advantage of this scheme and the combination of both of these programmes are adding to the rise in demand for property.
At the end of June 2021 the total investment generated by the Golden Visa Programme reached €5.87 billion, of which €5.31 billion went directly into the Portuguese real estate market.* The Non Habitual Resident scheme (NHR) is also continuing in popularity. We estimate that up to 50% of our buyers take advantage of this scheme and the combination of both of these programmes are adding to the rise in demand for property.
As a result of these many reasons to come to Portugal, we saw something quite different happening this past winter. As soon as it was permitted by the Government, our sales team was on the road again, phones in hand, showing properties over FaceTime. A gadget called a gimble never saw so much action! We were able to assist these buyers with their research even though they were not here in person. We supply full property information to our buyers, which includes a comprehensive list of running costs and comparable properties as well as potential rental returns making for an easy buying process and swift decision making for individual purchasers. Such is the level of confidence in the quality of the product here and in our QP SAVILLS team, many investors have been comfortable completing purchases remotely.
This growing property demand has not gone unnoticed by investors and developers who come to us for our in-depth market expertise and consultancy. We act as consultants and assist developers in refining their plans and devising their marketing strategies. We are recognised for having a long and deep understanding of the local luxury market. As Exclusive Agents of the W Residences Algarve, we have sold over 75% of the Residences in under 2 years and ahead of completion. 50% of these sales were completed over FaceTime. Together with SAVILLS International, we were involved from the very beginning of the project, consulting on typology, facilities and services as well as a comprehensive marketing and sales strategy.
Our experience coupled with access to the SAVILLS global network gives us a leading edge to support the successful delivery of developers’ projects. There is considerable appetite for these opportunities from those seeking to invest as well as from people looking to establish a residence here or a holiday home. The combination of these 3 categories of buyers has added to the intensity of demand in the region and is creating significant competition amongst buyers.
Consistent with our deep understanding of the region, we established our Loulé office in 2019 to address the significant increasing interest from buyers and developers alike, in the wider Algarve coast. The demand amongst these buyers seduced by the ability to purchase or indeed build on big plots with captivating views down to the ocean continues. Property values along the coast have continued to rise and as we predicted, more and more people are interested in looking further afield, seeking better prices per square metre. The team in our Loulé office is organically grown and is an integral part of the QP SAVILLS team. Kim, our manager worked in our Quinta do Lago office and Miguel was based at our W office. Tuna joined as the office opened and we now also have Schiwa and Alexandra as the office goes from strength to strength. The Loulé office in the heart of this region has meant that our finger is on the pulse. We know what is coming to the market earlier and can value that stock accurately giving confidence to our clients as well as our buyers and expediting sales. If you are visiting Loulé, please pop in and see us! We are on the main High Street close to the Market.
The annual production of our Property Guides is a very valuable and unique part of our investment in our marketing campaign. The Guides are distributed locally and to an international audience. We have now received our latest ‘An Eye for Property’ Guides which comprise a spectacular choice of beautiful properties from our portfolio. We have included articles about the buying process, legislation, visa options and helpful information and guidance on the area and property ownership in Portugal. Our guides cover Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and the Algarve and this year in addition, we have a separate Loulé edition covering our country properties. The Guides can be downloaded from our website www.qp.pt/guides. Or even better, come and collect a copy from any of our offices! We would love to see you!
We recognise the growth in digital and social media marketing and have invested in in-house expertise, devoted to these channels. Lisa Channing has joined as our new Marketing Manager and will bring her considerable knowledge to assist us to develop our capabilities in this fast evolving landscape. Increasingly, digital platforms are where buyers start their buying process with their own independent online research – we are sure this will resonate with you! Our digital presence alongside that of SAVILLS gives us the opportunity to present our portfolio to a global audience whilst also sharing SAVILLS insights and research with our followers. If you are not already following us please look us up on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We would love you to be a part of our growing digital community!
We have a team of 23 and continue to grow the company. Josh Roberts and Taira Rafiq both from the UK and settled in Portugal, one and 5 years ago have joined the sales team along with Gui (Guilherme) Murta who is from the Alentejo region. Gui is very familiar with this area having spent annual holidays here in the Algarve. Our new Marketing Manager, Lisa, who is Irish has been visiting the Algarve for 25 years and last year moved from the Cotswolds in the UK to live in Portugal. QP SAVILLS continues to grow and meet the increasing demand for property here in the most beautiful part of Europe!
At QP SAVILLS we love what we do! We would like nothing better than to help you enjoy your property dealings here in the Algarve – whether selling or buying your home. We are a local company with over 26 years of experience in the luxury property sector and as chosen SAVILLS associates, can give you the best service with a truly global reach. We look forward to continued successful relationships and to forging new ones.